Archive for May, 2018

Wind power isn’t free.  There is a very large upfront construction cost that has to be paid back over the life of the project.  Based on information from Maryland’s Public Service Commission that approved the two projects, the net cost of electric supply will be about 13.7 cents per kilowatt hour.  The average electric supply cost from existing power plants, according to regional gird manager PJM Interconnection, was only about 3.5 cents per kilowatt hour in 2017.  So, offshore wind power will be about four times as expensive!

In fact, Maryland electric customers will pay an extra $177 million average a year for offshore wind compared to buying from existing power plants.  Those existing power plants already produce enough electricity to meet expected demand.  The wind mills are only being built because they are required by law!

You may hear these projects will create thousands of jobs, and people will certainly be needed to build these massive windmills.  However, those construction jobs only last a few years, the cost continues for decades.  The extra money spent on electricity premiums could have been left in consumer pockets to be spent on the things they want, and the money you spend also creates jobs.  Economic models show that $177 million in electric premiums might create over 1000 direct permanent jobs if voluntarily spent elsewhere.  Compare that to an expected 50 permanent jobs for the people operating and maintaining the wind mills.  One way to look at this is each of those 50 jobs is costing $3.6 million a year!

There are also claims these wind mills will provide cleaner, healthier air.  The Maryland Public Service Commission hired a consultant that carefully considered the net regional impact, and found no air quality benefits.

David T. Stevenson, Director, Center for Energy Competitiveness


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